Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.
Edward Henry Bovill was born in April 1887 in Betchworth, Surrey to corn dealer John Henry Bovill and Mary Constance Bovill nee Brock.
At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at Broome Cottage, Reigate Road, Betchworth, Surrey. John was a corn dealer and Mary was at home. The household further comprised of their children: Mabel Constance, Evelyne Mary, Norah Frances and Edward Henry. The family was looked after by a cook, parlourmaid, housemaid and two nurses.
At the time of the 1901 Census, Edward was a boarder and pupil of schoolmaster Edward H. Alington at Mayfield, Oxford, Oxfordshire.
At the time of the 1911 Census, Mary and her son, corn merchant, Edward lived at Broome Perrow, Buckland, Betchworth, Surrey. The household further comprised of Mary’s niece Constance Mary Brock. The family was looked after by a cook, parlourmaid, lady maid and two housemaids. Mary Constance stated that she had given birth to five children. The house had twenty rooms.
Edward was educated at Summer Fields, Oxford; Harrow School and Pembroke College, Cambridge.
Edward Henry Bovill enlisted in 1916 into the 16th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles). He disembarked on the 4th of March 1916 in France.
Edward was killed in action on the 1st of July 1916 at Gommecourt, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in France.
His Colonel wrote: “After the early morning of Saturday last he was one of the very few officers left in this battalion, and though wounded in that early morning, he most gallantly led and stayed with his men the whole day. He bore himself all that day as what he was, a very gallant gentleman”. (1916 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)
One of his brother officers wrote: “He led the —- Platoon of —- Company, and penetrated as far into the German trenches as anyone, one though wounded, went on still leading what was left of his platoon, and was seen fighting will the upmost bravery in the third German line, firing his revolver, and throwing bombs. I believe his platoon would have followed him anywhere.” (1916 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)
Second Lieutenant Bovill is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on Pier and Face: 13 C. His body was never found.
He received the British War and Victory medals.
He left just under £33,000 to Merric Warren Bovill.
Edward also left a codicil in the form of a letter written to his father from the front: “In case I am killed, I want to give the parish of Buckland a new organ. I want a good one put in, so, please spend up to £511 on it. If necessary, spend another £500 on it”. (1916 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)
Edward’s first cousin Captain Olaf Ransome Cuthbert of the Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment was killed on the same day.
In 1916 the Bovill family lived at Broome Perrow in Buckland, Surrey.
Bovill’s father John Henry Bovill later lived in Pratsham, Holmbury St Mary, near Dorking, Surrey.
Bovill Family History
Edward’s father John Henry Bovill was born on the 1st of June 1851 in Epsom, Surrey to corn merchant John Edward Bovill Esq., born about 1820 in London, Middlesex and Priestly Mary Bovill, born about 1829 in Farnham, Surrey. The family lived at Sondes Place, Dorking, Surrey. John was baptised on the 15th of July 1851 at St Martin’s church in Buckland, Surrey.
His mother Mary Constance Brock was born about 1852 in St Peter in the Wood, Guernsey, Channel Islands to the Rector of St Peter in the Wood, Carey Brock, born about 1824 in St Peter in the Wood, Guernsey, Channel Islands and Elizabeth Georgina Baynes, born about 1828 in St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Island. Mary was baptised in 1852 at St Peter in the Wood’s church in Guernsey. At the time of the baptism the family lived in Guernsey.
John and Mary married on the 17th of February 1881 at the Parish Church of St Pierre-du-bois, Guernsey. The bride wore a dress of ivory satin, trimmed with lace and orange flowers, and a tulle veil over a wreath of orange blossom and myrtle. (1881 The Star – Saint Peter Port, Guernsey)
Edward had four siblings: Mabel Constance born in the 1st quarter of 1882 in Kensington, London; Evelyn Mary born in the 2nd quarter of 1884; Norah Frances born in the 2nd quarter of 1885; and John Eric born in the 1st quarter of 1894, all in Betchworth, Surrey.
At the time of the 1901 Census, Edward’s family lived at The Village, Broome Cottage, Betchworth. John Henry was a corn dealer and Mary was at home. The household further comprised of their children: Mabel and John and a visitor, governess, Edith. L. Wayte. The family was looked after by a parlourmaid, housemaid and a kitchen maid.
Born Betchworth, Surrey
Lived Betchworth, Surrey
Son of Elder son of John Henry Bovill and Mary Constance Bovill nee Brock of ‘Broome Perrow’, Buckland, Betchworth
Brother of John Eric Bovill
Regiment Queen’s Westminster Rifles
Date of Death 1st July 1916
Place of Death Somme, France
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Memorial Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France